GLASSBORO, N.J. - Franklin & Marshall was edged 9-8 by Rowan in non-conference baseball action on Wednesday. The Diplomats drop to 13-13 with the loss, while the Profs improve to 15-9.
F&M found itself in 6-1 hole heading into the sixth inning, but slowly chipped away at the lead with scores in each of the final four frames. In the sixth, Alex Vescera touched home from third on a wild pitch to cut the Profs' advantage to four, before Kevin Shields and Will Benenson cut into the deficit with RBIs in the seventh to make it 6-4.
Rowan responded with a two-run bottom half of the seventh, but Brian Erb's pinch-hit three-run homer in the eighth put F&M right back into the contest.
A successful sacrifice bunt from Greg Myers pushed the Profs out to a 9-7 as the two sides entered the top of the ninth.
Vescera and Joe Gallitto delivered back-to-back singles to jump-start the ninth frame for the Diplomats. With Vescera on third, Josh Mendelson laid down a sacrifice bunt that allowed pinch-runner Zach Levins to move to second, putting the tying run in scoring position for F&M. Erb then registered his game-high fourth RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Vescera to make it 9-8. Levins eventually made it to third on a passed ball, but Rowan closer Patrick D'Ascenzo completed the save with a strikeout to give the Profs the victory.
Kevin Shields went 3-for-5 at the plate with an RBI, Matt Mezansky tallied two hits and an RBI, and Erb notched four RBIs in just two at-bats. Vescera and Mendelson both touched home twice, while Benenson registered the game's other RBI.
Stephen Petriello and Sean Kelly led the Profs at the plate with two RBIs apiece, while Eric Selitto went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Gareth Fancher took the loss for the Diplomats in his first career start, throwing 3.0 innings and giving up a pair of runs on two hits.
Mike Behar (2-0) notched the win for Rowan, striking out five in 5.1 innings while surrendering two runs on five hits.
F&M returns home on Friday for a Centennial Conference (CC) matchup against Ursinus at 3:30 p.m.